Thursday, December 11, 2008

At the End of the Day . . .

May I make an appeal for term limits on certain phrases?

TV commentators are the source of much of my word related skin-crawling and the reason I have no heavy, throwable objects near my TV-watching chair. Remember, about 7 years ago, when all on-site journalists in Iraq were "embedded?" I lost a good television about a week into the war.

"It's in her DNA," I heard one newsman say just today, referring to Caroline Kennedy's New York Senate considerations. I liked the phrase 10 years ago, now -- find another biologic metaphor. Please.

"It is what it is," was made popular in Dallas by Bill Parcells when he referred to his team's won-loss record. I cringe every time I hear it. Maybe that's the reason he got fired.

I was out on "at the end of the day" by the end of the first day I heard it -- several times in one day.

Which is not to say that all colloquialisms are hackneyed. I can hear, "that dog won't hunt." everyday and not tire of it (well, not everyday). Texans are particularly adept at the enjoyable turn of phrase. "All hat and no cattle," and that sort of thing.

Which is not to say that they can't become hackneyed. I'm sure it was a Texan who first said, "if ain't broke don't fix it." And I have heard enough of that one.

Final thought: everyone is entitled to one or two words or phrases, especially as one ages, that are hackneyed -- just don't overdo it.

No comments: